We’ve all had “one of those days”, but you can’t pinpoint why. Both my husband, Jonathan and I had “one of those days” yesterday. Jonathan opted for a 40-minute snooze session instead of a 40-minute bike ride. For me, I struggled to complete my morning four-mile run; something I had expected to be easy proved to be difficult, and that set the tone for the day.
We’re fortunate, though. Despite our “off day”, we both took a personal day today – Thursday – to go to the beach and enjoy it before the official end of summer. Here are four reasons why I argue Thursday is the best day to take a personal day and break up your workweek.
1. It’s Not Monday
What’s the most common day of the week people don’t go into work? You guessed it – Monday. There are (at least) two reasons why: they dislike their jobs and want to delay the start of the workweek, or they like (or don’t dislike) their jobs but still want to delay the start of the workweek.
As draining as Monday may seem, I argue it is the best day to set the tone for your workweek. Go in with a positive attitude. Try to not let small issues or your colleagues’ “Monday Blues” impact how you feel. Be productive. Get stuff done. When you leave the office, you’ll feel accomplished and motivated to go back for more.
2. It’s Not Tuesday
There’s nothing evil about Tuesdays. (Unless you’re commuting to New York Penn Station this summer. But face it, that’s every day so don’t make Tuesday the culprit.)
If you take my approach to Monday, you should definitely not take Tuesday off. Your objective for Tuesday should be to ride the momentum you created on Monday. Why bring that to a screeching halt? Go to work and pick up exactly where you left off.
Progress on the tasks you started on Monday and complete them either 75% or 100%. If you’re a writer, write the first draft of your editorial (even if you’re waiting on a fact or two). If you’re a Manager, check-in with your staff and see how they are progressing towards their weekly goals. You can only do so much on Monday. Use Tuesday to do more.
3. It’s Not Wednesday
Wednesday is Hump Day and, to some, it is the most dreadful day at the office. (Unless, of course, you’re a camel.) You’ve worked two days, but there are three days to go. Your weekend R&R is dwindling. Friday seems so far away. How do we make Wednesday more bearable?
Wednesday is a good day to switch up your workload.
If you’re a writer and you’re experiencing writer’s block (or you’re still waiting to verify that fact), move onto something else.
One of my colleagues is a graphic designer. She works on upwards of five projects at a time, knowing that if she hits a roadblock, she can move on to one of her other projects until she finds the inspiration she needs to overcome the challenge.
The beauty of Wednesday is it’s position in the week. We can move our attention to a new task, but still have time to find the drive we need or get input from a co-worker to finish what we started on Monday before the week is over.
It also helps to take a lunch break. Grinding through Wednesday without taking occasional breaks is the true culprit of burnout.
4. It’s Not Friday
Up until recently, I chose to take Friday as a personal day and turn my weekends into three days. There’s nothing wrong with that, and quiet honestly, I’d argue Friday is the best day to take off for a weekend getaway vacation (for obviously reasons). However, I’m not talking about vacation days. I’m talking about personal days, also known as mental health days. Personal days are so important because they help us rest and overcome stress in order to perform well at our jobs.
By taking your personal day on Thursday, you’re enabling yourself to finish the workweek strong. A good analogy is running. The key to a great race is having the energy to sprint across the finish line. You need to conserve some energy, even if it’s the tiniest bit, to kick it in at the end. The same is true for work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take Thursday off to clear your mind. Go back to work on Friday and finish what you started on Monday. Not only will you accomplish your weekly goals, you’ll feel good and ready for the weekend.
So, I’m off to the beach, sunglasses on and book in hand, ready to relax and then go back to work tomorrow feeling strong.